For reasons that are fairly explicable—if not outright “fucking easy to comprehend”—there’s been an uptick in useful distractions in the pop culture ecosystem of late. Often, that takes the form of nostalgia, one of the most potent distracting forces on this planet, right up there with “horny” and “food.” And it’s to cater to that first great force, presumably, that MTV’s been maintaining a nostalgia bombardment throughout the day today. As anyone who tuned into the network this afternoon already knows, it’s self-declared “Flashback Friday” in the House That Beavis Built, with the channel offering up a steady slate of oldies-but-goodies, with the shared theme being that they were all produced in New York City.
Tragically, the lateness of the present hour means that we’ve already missed three full hours of music videos—which is fine, since we’re not sure our brains could handle the whiplash from the network’s normal slate anyway. And it’s obviously unfortunate that we won’t be able to indulge in our once-thriving Real World obsession by slipping into three and a half hours of the show’s first season. But you can still catch the 2000 VMAs, at least—that’s the one where Britney Spears kickstarted god knows how many puberties with her performance of “Oops!…I Did It Again!”, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford refused to come down from the scaffolding after his group lost to Limp Bizkit. (Both formative moments, in their own ways.) You can follow that up with both the Nirvana and the Pearl Jam Unplugged sessions, and then finish the day out by blissing out to two hours of The State. Sure, the world outside will still be, uh, “challenging” when you’re done. But that was going to be the case anyway, and at least you might be able to see two guys dancing around $240 worth of pudding if you do it like this.